Cheetah Reviews

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½ September 11, 2006
oh god... i remember this movie and having to watch it and just being BORED OUT OF MY MIND... it was on disney channel all the time when i was a kid.
June 28, 2013
It's a good movie for kids.
½ March 25, 2012
It's no match for BORN FREE, but this tale of two California kids who team up with a friendly goat herder to rescue a cheetah from gamblers is good old-fashioned Disney fun. As expected, the cinematography of the African wilderness is beautiful and of course the title character, aptly named "Duma" (who doesn't turn up until about 15 minutes into the film), will capture your heart the moment you first set your eyes on her. There are shades of the aforementioned British lion story in this movie, particularly in the scenes where the kids attempt to train their household pet to become wild. But the real heart of the story is in their friendship with the native goat herder Morogo; the chemistry between them is funny and enjoyable to watch and one cannot help but root for them when they set off on their daring adventure to rescue their pet (even if it means purposely missing their flight home and lying to their parents to do so). CHEETAH will not go down as an all time great, but it's a pleasant way to spend 83 minutes, especially in the scenes involving the cheetah and the perils across Africa (particularly a brief elephant chase). And of course, the "Jumbo" song is catchy (listen carefully for a mention of "Hakuna matata!").
½ December 11, 2011
Alongside their legendary animated films, Disney is just as well known for their live-action features, of which "Cheetah" is one. This is a substandard effort, however, with lazy writing and an obvious story that has nothing new to offer.
In a film like this, you come to expect great scenery and beautiful photography, and there certainly is plenty of that here. Unfortunately, there's not much else. The cheetah that is the star of the picture is magnificent and well-trained, but almost all of the other animals that are filmed are stock footage which is kind of unforgivable for a film of this nature. There's even one embarrassing scene in which young Lucy Deakins is bottle feeding a painfully obvious stuffed animal.
Naturally, the film is aimed at kids, or more to the point stupid kids because the film is written at that level. Most of the adults here talk in very simple sentences, and a lot of the characters of different races and cultures are stereotypes who all conveniently speak decent English. If there's one thing the folks at Disney know is how much white people hate reading subtitles.
Deakins and co-star Keith Coogan are appealing in their roles, however, but their story is less than thrilling. You never really feel like they're in any danger, and that has more to do with the pandering towards the audience than their young African guide. "Cheetah" is a film that I really tried to like. It's a harmless, good-natured family film, but that doesn't mean that it has to be this bland an uninspired. It's very possible that young, young children may like it, but today's kids are far more sophisticated than this painfully outdated film. It takes a story that's very basic to begin with and doesn't do much with it after the fact. We should be able to expect more from this brand.
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